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Will Cloud Storage Be the End of Tape Storage?

by on July 19, 2011

A recent Storage Magazine article asked this question: “Does the advent of cloud-based infrastructure and applications mean tape is finally going away?”


After all, the author, Terri McClure, states, the cloud seems to offer many of tape’s advantages—namely, cost-effectiveness and suitability for long-term storage—without taking up physical space. So, isn’t the cloud just one more sign of tape’s impending demise? McClure’s answer: “A definite no.” In her opinion, tape has an important role to play and can and should happily coexist with cloud solutions for the foreseeable future. I couldn’t agree more.

Consider the advantages of tape: cost-efficiency, added security, scalability, reliability and long shelf life. When you think about how to back up data that’s stored in the cloud, tape quickly presents itself as the leading candidate.

What makes tape the perfect complement to cloud storage? As McClure points out, the cloud provides physical protection, while tape provides “logical” protection—that is, protection from human error and system bugs. And not only is tape well suited to transferring data to the cloud or migrating between cloud service providers, it also addresses the security and privacy concerns that surround cloud storage.

Growing adoption of the cloud doesn’t signal the arrival of the grim reaper for tape. Just the opposite: The advantages tape offers as a backup to the cloud are just more proof that tape isn’t dead, doesn’t suck and has an ongoing role to play in strategic data storage.

How will you back up the cloud?

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